LISTENER

Robert M. Seater

Ashland MA, USA
  • 13
  • reviews
  • 2
  • helpful votes
  • 143
  • ratings

Great even if you've only read some of the series

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-13-19

I read the first book and liked it. I accidentally thought this one was next and it was a happy accident. This book is great, and I've no trouble following it having only read the first in the series. It's very clever and the literary references are fairly accessible and missing some won't ruin your ability to follow the story.

I highly recommend this one if you liked #1 but found others in the series too slow or too obscure.

Shallow characters plus lots of plot holes

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-06-19

The characters are about as simplistic as you can get. The plot is ok on a larger scale, but on a small scale it is full of plot holes. Every major problem they face once the sci-fi elements start could trivially be solved by the tools that have been presented. And there are some pretty painful passages trying (and failing) to explain relativity and trying (and failing) to present it as a justification for the time travel mechanism they use. It would be better if they just presented it as a premise to accept, and moved on with the story.

simplistic characters and weak portrayal of women

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-13-19

I expected a low brow action adventure but was still disappointed. The whole thing is pretty predictable without being creative enough to make up for that. Every women is defined entirely by her appearance and submission to the main character.

And I must object to the main character spending the story advancing 3 stats -- structure, pets, and women. Really?

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

A fairly offensive revenge subplot ruins the story

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-13-19

I found the first book charming in its campiness, but with endearing characters and clever ties between the real and virtual worlds.

But I must object to the protagonist selling a woman naked into slavery to pirates knowing that she will be brutalized as revenge for a betrayal, and portraying it as justice. The books are quite clear that players in the game feel the effects in the real world, but this is brushed off as a cute karmic resolution to the subplot. There is no sense that the author sees that outcome as anything other than harmless fun by the main character.

ridiculous surreal bizarre and surprisingly deep

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-21-18

The style is completely ridiculous and over-the-top irreverent. But there are dozens of moments and quotes that are quite profound and subtle. Even though the style is absurdist and surreal, the plot is quite complex and intertwined, the characters are dynamic and subtle, and the themes are clever and purposeful.

Ahead of its time, but still badly acted

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-23-18

An early story about nano-robots is neat, but the story itself is quite simplistic, poorly voices, and containing simplisticly flat characters.

Simplistic stories with bad acting

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-23-18

These stories are more simplistic info dumps than actual stories, with flat characters who are badly voiced. It does not hold up to the TV show greats.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Not on par with the earlier Dalek Empire stories

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-23-18

The story is slow, the characters are flat, and many scenes are borderline incoherent. It's not just as good as the (excellent) earlier work Nicholas Briggs did with Dalek Empires 1/2/3.

A compelling human story about charming grumpiness

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-23-18

Drew Magary is excellent at capturing the complexity of age and grumpiness. This is a charming and well-paced story, and I was left wishing it continued into a full length novel.

Unexpectedly compelling

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-23-18

I tried some other RPG-style stories and didn't like them. They seemed inferior to actually playing a game, or written by someone who clearly would rather just play a game. I tried this one on a whim, and was pleasantly surprised.

This is the genre done right. The real-world plot and in-game plots are both interesting and well-paced, and (perhaps most importantly), directly affect each other. It's not just a narration of someone playing a game, it's a story about how the game and the player's life interacted and changed each other. Well done!